Coderus In-House Developer Wins Mental Health Start-Up Hackathon

kara thurkettle and shaun plummer win innovate suffolk mental health hackathon

We are very proud to announce that one of our Developers, Shaun Plummer, alongside his partner in crime, Kara Thurkettle from StrategiQ Marketing has won the annual 48-hour Innovate Suffolk hackathon on the theme of mental health. 

Shaun and Kara were proud winners following their success with their entry of the Stress Buddy app, aiming at providing a real-world solution to offering help and guidance to young people struggling with their mental health.

Other projects that came out of the hackathon include goal setting apps for children and technology using artificial intelligence with the winning app being Stress Buddy. 

What is Stress Buddy?

Stress Buddy is an app that helps people immediately manage and assess negative emotions such as anxiety. It does this by using a series of coping prompts which have been based on a combination of CBT Therapy and Behavioural Conditioning principles. 

The app essentially sends users through a coping strategy journey to help reinforce positive coping behaviours when faced with stressful situations that can trigger a negative response. The multiple coping mechanisms that the app provides could be especially beneficial to people with complex mental health conditions related to anxiety, depression along with  many other mental health triggers. 

In addition to a range of mobile application features, Stress Buddy also has wearable technology integration as well as data tracking to help users track their responses and better manage their mental health long-term. 

Implementing Stress Buddy in the Workplace

Stress Buddy is more than just an app, it can also be integrated into working culture across businesses and organisations looking to improve staff health and wellbeing. At Coderus, we have a recognised culture of assigning a buddy to each of our team members so that nobody feels alone. 

Ideally, Stress Buddy would be prescribed to people on waiting lists for CBT treatments to help inform health professionals of the patient’s condition over time. On the other hand, it could also be used by HR departments in companies to either monitor the mental health of employees to be able to intervene prior to a crisis – or if privacy is a concern – it could be an added health benefit to employees so they can understand why they feel and act the way they do.

Shaun Plummer and Kara Thurkettle, Coderus Developer and StrategiQ SEO Executive

Who is Innovate Suffolk? 

Innovate Suffolk are the creators of the annual 48-hour Hackathon in Suffolk where attendees work together, pitching ideas and creating projects that are supported by experienced mentors that take place across a 48-hour period. They aim to bring together technology and startup talent across the country and turn ideas into businesses. 

The Hackathon inspires projects that fulfill the brief of providing viable, real-world solutions with the winning team taking away a cash prize and the offer of additional support to complete building and promotion of the app. 

What does the future hold for Stress Buddy?

The pioneers behind the app, Shaun and Kara have decided to pursue the full development of the app and are currently looking for local SMEs, mental health professionals and business leaders who would be interested in helping them develop their research further.

If you are keen to know more about Stress Buddy then please send an email to or follow their Facebook page to stay up to date with their progress. 

June 15, 2019
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